The Worst Frozen Pipe Disasters We've Ever Seen (and How to Avoid Them!)
With record breaking cold temperatures hitting the US this week (49 out of 50 states have hit freezing temperatures!), frozen water pipes are a very serious threat that can cause tens of thousands of dollars in home damages. Even individuals who live in newer homes are not exempt from this common problem. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent frozen pipes. We've included some tips below as well as some incredible pictures of home water and ice damage.
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How to Prevent Frozen and/or Burst Water Pipes
- Turn Up You Heat. We all like to be careful about our energy useage during the winter months, but you would rather pay a higher heating bill than a bill for the damage of a burst pipe.
- Open Cabinets. Let the warm air in your home reach your pipes by opening any cabinets or closets that have water pipes in them. This includes under the sink and closets that hold your clothes washer and dryer.
- Eliminate Drafts. During cold weather, a chilly draft is enough to push your pipes to the point of freezing. Fix any broken windows, use weatherstripping, close off crawl spaces and uninsulated areas.
- Wrap Your Pipes. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation, newspaper, cloth, or heating tape. This is one of the easiest ways to protect your pipes and anyone can do it.
- Leave Faucets Dripping. Just a trickle of water can help stop your pipes from freezing and the extra water cost is a lot cheaper than the cost of pipe repair.
- Close Valves. Close the valves located indoors that supply your outdoor hose bibs. Make sure you go outside and open those hose bibs to allow all the water to drain out of them and then close it back up.
- Drain Water System. If you must leave town, drain your water system in your home.
- Keep Garage Doors Closed. Save some heat for your pipes by only opening your garage doors when absolutely needed.
- Know Where Your Shutoff Valves Are. Locate your shuttoff valves so if you do have a burst pipe, you can shut off the valve and minimize the damage.